Purdue University Graduate School
Natural Air Circulation Model Development For The Digindy Tunnel - Thesis.pdf (6.34 MB)
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Natural Air Circulation Model Development for The DigIndy Tunnel

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posted on 2021-07-28, 02:10 authored by Luis C. Maldonado JaimeLuis C. Maldonado Jaime
The DigIndy tunnel is an extension of the Indianapolis combined sewer system that stores the combined sewer overflow during heavy rain conditions. The tunnel system has several openings in and around the city of Indianapolis. Gasses emitted from the tunnel may create health concerns and affect the quality of life for nearby residents. Understanding the air circulation patterns provides valuable insight into where gases are likely to emerge from the tunnel and what steps may be taken to mitigate gas emissions in undesirable locations. The objective of the present work is to develop a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model capable of predicting the air circulation patterns in the DigIndy tunnel under dry weather conditions. In order to inform and validate the CFD model, an experimental campaign was designed and executed to measure weather data and air flow rates within the DigIndy tunnel. Obtaining accurate results requires careful consideration of key physical phenomena to include in the model, geometric simplification strategies, mesh generation strategies, and numerical modeling strategies. Results showed that the seasonal effect, manifest by thermally-driven flow, plays a significant role in the air circulation patterns within the tunnel. Furthermore, results show that tunnel alignment affects the natural air circulation within the tunnel. Large diameter shafts, as the working and retrieval shafts, lead to significant circulation rates in the new tunnel alignments.




Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Engineering Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Jason Ostanek

Additional Committee Member 2

José Garcia

Additional Committee Member 3

William Hutzel

Additional Committee Member 4

Emad Elwakil